1. The Divergent Series: Allegiant (Lionsgate, 3740 Theaters, 121 minutes, Rated PG-13, Rotten Tomatoes Rating at Press Time 10% ): Is the decline of the Divergent Series, an adaptation of the popular teen lit novel series, a sign that this current trend is on its way out? Possibly. Both the Divergent and Maze Runner series have been posting revenues that are decreasing from their initial installments, not to mention the critical reaction to this franchise has been nosediving. We are moving away from the heyday of the Harry Potter films.
Anyways, the new installment sees Shailene Woodley’s Tris continuing to fight against the rigid hierarchical society that has sprung up following some sort of vaguely defined near-apocalypse in the past. I have to say that I do feel a bit sorry for Woodley. She is now trapped in a franchise on the decline in what should have been a breakout role for her career and the other big hope she had, playing future Peter Parker love interest Mary Jane Watson in the Amazing Spider-Man films got yanked away from her when Sony moved to reboot the franchise. Hopefully, after the ext, and last, film in this franchise wraps, her agent can get her on to projects with more promise.
2. The Bronze (Sony Classics, 1,167 Theaters, 108 minutes, Rated R, Rotten Tomatoes Rating at Press Time 32% [76 Reviews]): The idea of someone who peaked early in life and then trying to find their place in the world has always been a good source for both drama and comedy. And The Bronze takes that a step further and makes the highest that its protagonist Hope (Melissa Rauch) was still just third place at the Olympics, a gold medal just out of reach. Years later, she finds herself training a new gymnast for the US team who could go all the way, and that raises the expected complicated and conflicting emotions.
Even though it has a pretty strong lineup of comic actors – Gary Cole (Office Space), Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) and Cecily Strong (Saturday Night Live) – it unfortunately looks like the film failed to stick the landing, if the reviews are anything to go by. But then again, comedy is often so much more subjective to critique than other, more serious fare, so if the trailer looks to be like your cup of tea, this might by the better of the films to check out this weekend.